Boat Racing, Art & Culture in South India Tour
10 Nights / 11 Days
Destination Covered : Kochi, Alleppey, Chennai, Chidambaram, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Madurai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Pondicherry, Gangaikonda cholapuram
Attractions : Vembanad Lake
Discover a new face of India in a festive and colorful atmosphere. On board the houseboats on the Vembanad Lake, the longest take in India, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala and also witness the famous snake boat race in Kerala: the Nehru Boat Race, which hosts thousands of spectators every year! The beaches of Bekal and backwaters of Alleppey will beckon you!
Explore the ancient Tamil cities, and magnificent temples and ruins of the Chola dynasty. From Madurai to Pondicherry, let yourself be astounded by the diversity of cultural influences that make the wealth of this region.
Discover the beauty of Pondicherry as you enjoy the scenic charm and tourist attractions of this former French colony.
Experience a unique journey of discovering South India through authentic experiences including dance (Kathakali), martial arts (Kalaripayattu), wildlife (riding an elephant), yoga, Ayurveda, etc.
Detailed Tour Itinerary
Welcome upon your arrival at the Kochi airport. You are transferred to the island of Fort Cochin. Overnight at the hotel.
You enjoy the morning by visiting this colorful city with its medieval charm. Discover the first Catholic church in the country where Vasco da Gama was buried and walk casually through winding streets lined with old Portuguese buildings, mosques, and shaded patios… a haven of peace. Then go to the port, take the time to walk along the pier watching some fishing at sunset.
In the evening, sway to the rhythm of Hindu epics during a performance of Kathakali. One hour of preparation and makeup by the actors invites the audience to dive into this fantastic theatrical atmosphere.
Early in the morning, you take the road towards the Backwaters. Aboard one of these famous houseboats, you sail to the lagoons of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala. Old traditional boats that once used to transport goods, the houseboats today are real homes of charm. Discover the tropical shores lined with villages, flowers, coconut trees and green rice fields and enjoy the spectacular beauty of the backwaters of Alleppey in the region, the Venice of the East. Dinner and overnight on board.
This is the day of the most famous boat race in India held on the occasion of Onam, the harvest festival celebrated all over South India. You will visit the site of the race early in the morning to avoid the flow of spectators. You will admire the Chundans, long colored snake boats with over a hundred rowers in each. It is a magnificent spectacle that takes place every year in honor of the visit of the former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952. Rowers happily beat the water in unison to the rhythm of drums and songs, which accompany the procession. You can watch the parade of bands in the midst of traditional dances and taste the local culinary specialties. Let yourself be carried away by the festive atmosphere that lasts all day!
In the morning, you take the road to the Western Ghats, and revel in the beauty of this mountainous region on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. After lunch, you venture into the mysterious jungle of the Ghats in the Periyar National Park. The fauna is extremely rich and varied: tigers, bears, leopards, elephants, antelopes, and sambhars... Try to distinguish the beautiful birds that inhabit the jungle as they belong to more than a thousand different species!
In the evening you will attend a performance of Kalaripayattu, regarded by tradition as the mother of all martial arts. The fight is like a majestic dance drama.
In the morning, you sit atop an elephant for a unique tour around the park. Learn about the ancient practice of mahouts, elephant trainers and guides who will be proud to share their knowledge with you. You leave the Ghats after lunch to take the road to Madurai, the cultural capital of the country and a pilgrimage site in Tamil Hindu. Relax and overnight at the hotel.
This day is dedicated to visiting the city. You discover the uplifting and extravagant Meenaski Amman temple, a masterpiece of Hindu architecture on the list of potential wonders of the world. Nearly 30,000 sculptures adorn the walls and eleven gopurams of the temple. Take a walk around the city where you can visit the magnificent palace of Thirumalai Nayak built by an Italian architect in the 17th century. Also do not miss the Pudu Mandapa. Return to the hotel for the night.
In the morning, you leave Madurai to visit the city of Trichy dominated by the impressive "Sacred Rock", perched 80 meters above sea level. A vestige of the Chola architecture that emanates a striking religiosity for anyone crossing the threshold. You arrive in the afternoon in Thanjavur, famed for its rich culture and colorful stalls adorning the streets. This is an opportunity to discover one of the specialties of the city’s Carnatic music. Overnight at the hotel.
You take the road of Pondicherry in the morning. In the morning you make a stop at Gangaikonda cholapuram, the ancient capital of the Chola Empire. Discover the beautiful Brihadishwara and walk through the park and the market town temple. Then you stop at Chidambaram to discover one of the five shrines dedicated to Shiva dated back to the twelfth century. Once in Pondicherry, you check into your hotel - The Dune - for a yoga and meditation session using traditional methods.
This day in the former French colony of the East India Company is the opportunity to enjoy the typical charm of the quiet seaside town during a walk organized in the neighborhoods of unique architecture inherited from Tamil and French influences. Participate with the locals to play petanque before the sun sets. Yoga and meditation and overnight at the hotel.
Enroute to Chennai, discover the amazing town of Mahabalipuram, which is registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can walk up the hills from the beautiful ratha (temples in the form of chariots) and mandapa (cave sanctuaries). You then make a stop at Kanchipuram, one of the seven holy cities of India with more than a hundred temples, some of which date back to the seventh century. Mahalibapuram is also renowned for its silk and craft workshops. Arrive in Chennai and transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
End of our services.
- * Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
- * Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.